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Found 54 results

  1. Can a game against our long time traditional rivals breathe some life into this team?
  2. This week, it’s your chance to be part of our match preview for the game v Collingwood. Tell us in your own words, who will win and why? It can be short or long and the best entries make it into our match preview * Give it a try - you might even influence the result😀 * subject to editing if necessary
  3. QB They kicked 9 goals straight to 4.8 in the second half and won comfortably. COLLINGWOOD B Brayden Maynard Jordan Roughead Levi Greenwood HB Jack Crisp Darcy Moore Jeremy Howe C Tom Phillips Scott Pendlebury Chris Mayne HF Josh Thomas Brody Mihocek Will Hoskin-Elliott F Jaidyn Stephenson Jordan De Goey Callum L. Brown FOLL Brodie Grundy Steele Sidebottom Adam Treloar I/C James Aish Mason Cox Brayden Sier Travis Varcoe EMG Ben Crocker Josh Daicos Isaac Quaynor Ben Reid IN Mason Cox Brayden Sier OUT Dayne Beams (hip) Ben Reid (omitted) MELBOURNE B Michael Hibberd Steven May Jake Lever HB James Harmes Sam Frost Christian Salem C Bayley Fritsch Jack Viney Oskar Baker HF Nathan Jones Tom McDonald Jayden Hunt F Jeff Garlett Sam Weideman Christian Petracca FOLL Max Gawn Angus Brayshaw Clayton Oliver I/C Mitch Hannan Marty Hore Tim Smith Charlie Spargo EMG Alex Neal-Bullen Braydon Preuss Billy Stretch Josh Wagner IN Marty Hore Jake Lever Steven May Christian Salem OUT Jay Kennedy Harris (omitted) Oscar McDonald (omitted) Billy Stretch (omitted) Josh Wagner (omitted)
  4. There are many who would argue that Melbourne’s current woes go back a full decade to their Queens Birthday engagement of 2009 when the Demons selected a young VCE student Jack Watts to make his debut on the MCG in front of what was expected to be the club’s biggest crowd for a game described as the club’s “grand final in June”. That was the way of the world for the Dean Bailey coached Demons. The critics were skeptical of Melbourne’s decision to put a wet behind the ears schoolboy (albeit that he was a number 1 draft pick) under such immense pressure in his first AFL game against a team that had a big edge in talent and experience. When Watts was tested out physically by a school of Magpies who corralled him in a corner, the critics screamed in condemnatory terms accusing the club of sacrificing its valuable young colt on the altar for some sort of public relations stunt. The cloud of that introduction hung darkly over the player, his coaches and club officialdom for years to come and it hovered there until Jack Watts and Melbourne parted company at the end of 2017. The Demons were traveling along nicely playing an uncompromising brand of football at the half way mark of the following season but, when they came to their first Queens Birthday clash without Watts who by now, was happily ensconced outside of Victoria with Port Adelaide Power, they hit a massive snag. Max Gawn was beaten in the ruck by Brodie Grundy, Mason Cox returned to form and kicked five goals and the Pies’ midfield set up the prototype game to overcome Melbourne’s power charged on ball division. Collingwood’s last half yielded them 11 goals from 15 shots at goal. Sound familiar? Twelve months down the track and the injury riddled, wayward Demons are placed 16th on the ladder and with hope of making the finals all but lost. Max Gawn remains a ruck force but his opponent Grundy has taken over the mantle of the AFL's premier ruckman. Melbourne has a few things going for it as it approaches the weekend’s Big Freeze game against the third-placed Pies. Their injury woes are moderating and a number of players are in the mix to return to the team and particularly to shore up the defence which has been leaking easy goals with regularity. There will be a lot more pressure applied to the opposition attack this week so that we might actually see a regular football score than the 14.6, 13.7, 9.6, 15.5 or 20.6 such as we’ve seen to date. The fact that Collingwood will have a few outs from injury might also help balance the ledger and the Magpies are also under the pump to avoid a second successive upset loss at the MCG which would send them back into the pack. Last year, the Dees were the hunted but this time they are the hunters. They won’t make the mistake of throwing a young rookie into the fray as they did ten years ago but they probably won’t be able to make up the gulf in talent of the personnel available to each of the clubs either. Collingwood by 27 points. THE GAME Melbourne v Collingwood at the MCG Monday 10 June, 2019 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 83 wins, Collingwood 148 wins, 5 drawn At the MCG Melbourne 63 wins, Collingwood 81 wins, 3 drawn Last Five Meetings Melbourne 3 wins, Collingwood 2 wins The Coaches Goodwin 1 win, Buckley 2 wins MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Footy Channel live at 3.00pm Radio - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC LAST TIME THEY MET Collingwood 20.13.133 defeated Melbourne 14.7.91 at the MCG in Round 12, 2018 The Demons came into the game as favourites but it was clear that the Magpies meant business. Brodie Grundy beat Max Gawn and this went a long way to nullifying the Melbourne midfield’s grunt. They managed to get the ball to the outside where they overran the Demons and Mason Cox finished them off with his height advantage up forward. THE TEAMS THE TEAMS COLLINGWOOD VFL B Brayden Maynard Jordan Roughead Levi Greenwood HB Jack Crisp Darcy Moore Jeremy Howe C Tom Phillips Scott Pendlebury Chris Mayne HF Josh Thomas Brody Mihocek Will Hoskin-Elliott F Jaidyn Stephenson Jordan De Goey Callum L. Brown FOLL Brodie Grundy Steele Sidebottom Adam Treloar I/C James Aish Mason Cox Brayden Sier Travis Varcoe EMG Ben Crocker Josh Daicos Isaac Quaynor Ben Reid IN Mason Cox Brayden Sier OUT Dayne Beams (hip) Ben Reid (omitted) MELBOURNE B Michael Hibberd Steven May Jake Lever HB James Harmes Sam Frost Christian Salem C Bayley Fritsch Jack Viney Oskar Baker HF Nathan Jones Tom McDonald Jayden Hunt F Jeff Garlett Sam Weideman Christian Petracca FOLL Max Gawn Angus Brayshaw Clayton Oliver I/C Mitch Hannan Marty Hore Tim Smith Charlie Spargo EMG Alex Neal-Bullen Braydon Preuss Billy Stretch Josh Wagner IN Marty Hore Jake Lever Steven May Christian Salem OUT Jay Kennedy Harris (omitted) Oscar McDonald (omitted) Billy Stretch (omitted) Josh Wagner (omitted) Injury list: Round 12 Marty Hore (calf) – test Jake Lever (ankle) – test Harry Petty (knee) – test Corey Maynard (concussion) – 1 week Jake Melksham (foot) – 4-6 weeks Joel Smith (groin) – 4-6 weeks Aaron vandenBerg (foot) – 6-8 weeks Neville Jetta (knee) – 6-8 weeks Tom Sparrow (knee) – 8-10 weeks Guy Walker (shoulder) – indefinite Aaron Nietschke (knee) – season Pictured below is Jack Watts with fellow Brighton Grammar students including Josh Kelly, Christian Salem and Jayden Hunt.
  5. We were riding high at the time (apart from Jake Lever's injury) ... THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Christian Salem, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Angus Brayshaw, Michael Hibberd, Jordan Lewis 😄 Bernie Vince, Jack Viney, Nathan Jones HF: Bayley Fritsch, Tom McDonald, Clayton Oliver F: Charlie Spargo, Jesse Hogan, Jake Melksham Foll: Max Gawn, James Harmes, Christian Petracca I/C: Mitch Hannan, Alex Neal-Bullen, Cameron Pedersen, Joel Smith Emg: Jeff Garlett, Mitch Hannan, Jayden Hunt, Harrison Petty In: Cameron Pedersen, Joel Smith Out: Jake Lever (knee), Tim Smith (omitted) COLLINGWOOD B: Brayden Maynard, Lynden Dunn, Jack Crisp HB: Levi Greenwood, Matthew Scharenberg, Tom Langdon C : Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips HF: Jordan De Goey, Brody Mihocek, Will Hoskin-Elliott F: Josh Thomas, Mason Cox, Jaidyn Stephenson Foll: Brodie Grundy, Daniel Wells, Adam Treloar I/C (from): Taylor Adams, Josh Daicos, Jeremy Howe, Chris Mayne Emg: Flynn Appleby Ben Crocker, Sam Murray, Rupert Wills In: Jeremy Howe Out: Flynn Appleby (omitted)
  6. I always believe in starting off any report by accentuating the positive and in that regard, as at the time of writing, the Demons have not reported any injuries so that’s my major positive from today’s practice game v the Magpies (albeit that we know the club is somewhat lax in reporting these things so my best wishes go out if any of today’s participants are in intensive care at the Alfred). Another positive was that Razor Ray performed his umpiring duties admirably which is more than I can say about the two other duds who shall remain nameless because I’m trying to stay positive. On that note, Melbourne proved that it can win games against good opposition away from home in front of a 70% hostile crowd (and let me remind you that Collingwood finished 2018 a mere bee’s diaphragm away from the premiership), Angus Brayshaw showed he is already approaching his stellar form of last year unperturbed by the injuries he was carrying late last year and a change in head gear. A fully fit Aaron vandenBerg will also be a major plus over last year. The Max Gawn/Braydon Pruess ruck/forward combo worked a treat and will have opposition defenders struggling as they reach for the footy in stratospheric heights. The 6-6-6 set up will suit the style of the club as we head into a new year and a new day. More positives from the dominance of the midfield despite missing a swag of stars. Promise of some good contributions to come from Christian Petracca, Alex Neal-Bullen, James Harmes and Christian Salem - virtually the secondary midfield and the run of a rejuvenated Jayden Hunt and the enthusiasm of young Tom Sparrow - the Demons’ bird in the hand for the future. Oscar McDonald was great in defence and one asks how good will this line be when Steven May comes in and Jake Lever returns from his knee injury. In the meantime, the club’s mature-age draftee from Collingwood VFL’s Marty Hore looks like a good bet to fill a spot from the get go. Sam Frost was also good. And how about new leadership group member Nev Jetta, who was initially ruled out of the AFLX extravaganza through injury, but recovered dramatically enough to not miss a beat in the game today? The Demons started slowly when they conceded a couple of goals to Jamie Elliot but after that, they moved into positive mode and it soon became game, set and scratch match. POST MATCH DISCUSSION: http://demonland.com/forums/topic/45624-post-practice-match-discussion-melbourne-v-collingwood/ Melbourne 4.1.25 5.4.34 8.6.54 11.6.72 Collingwood 2.1.13 3.5.23 4.5.29 7.6.48 Best Gawn Preuss Harmes Salem Brayshaw O McDonald Goals Preuss 2 Garlett Harmes Kennedy Harris Neal-Bullen T Smith Sparrow Stretch Weideman
  7. The Demons are set to take on the old enemy Collingwood in a good old fashioned Scratch Match on Friday Morning. It is unknown what form the match will take, how many quarters there will be, their length, the amount of rotations or even whether they'll keep score. One thing we do know for sure is that both coaching staffs will be keeping their cards close to their chests to ensure neither will glean too much from their competition. The Dees will likely be without some of their stars as Tom McDonald and Nathan Jones trained in the rehab group on Wednesday, the former pulling out of the AFLX 2.0 as he will be going under the knife for a "very minor procedure" to ensure he plays in the JLT and is "no chance to miss Round 1". Other players in the rehab group at the latest training sessions included Jake Lever (knee) and Mitch Hannan (knee). Steven May (hamstring) was attending the AFL's Indigenous Conference will not play as he aims to be fit for Round 1. Neville Jetta, who was also at the Conference is unlikely to play as he too has been in the rehab group for the past few weeks. Both Jack Viney (foot) and new recruit Kade Kolodashnij (adductor) were not at Wednesday's skills work session and have already been ruled out of any preseason practice matches. Viney is eyeing a Round 1 return whereas Kolodashnij will return early in the season. New recruit Aaron Nietschke tore his ACL during last Friday's match simulation at Casey Field's and will miss the whole of the 2019 season. Bayley Fritsch who replaces Tom McDonald as Melbourne's only representative at the AFLX will also likely miss. Of the rest of the playing group most will be available but I would assume that some of the players who had off-seasons surgeries might have shorter game times. Clayton Oliver and James Harmes both had shoulder surgeries and have only recently returned to the main training group and despite having resumed contact and keeping up their match fitness in rehab might be restricted in their game time if they play at all. Christian Petracca who had a procedure to clean up his knee in the offseason has had a stint in the rehab but has returned the main group as has Angus Brayshaw (back). I would expect Jake Melksham and Oskar Baker to sit this scratch match out as both have only just returned to the main group. It will be interesting to see if the Dees will trial their new two ruckman game plan with the inclusion of Braydon Preuss to the list. Both he and Max Gawn have done full preseasons but with Brodie Grundy unlikely to line up due to only just returning to Collingwood's main training group following a toe complaint the Dees might decide to rest Max and let Preuss go solo. Other Magpies players who will miss the game are Jordan De Goey, who injured his ankle in a match simulation last week, Will Hoskin-Elliot (leg), Jeremy Howe (corked thigh) and Lynden Dunn (knee). The match which will be played at the Olympic Park Oval on Friday 22nd February @ 10:00am. The game will be LIVE streamed by the club on their website and on the club's app. https://www.melbournefc.com.au/news/2019-02-20/practice-match-info Match details Collingwood v Melbourne Date: Friday, February 22 Match start time: 10.00am (AEDT) Live stream begins: 9.45am (AEDT) Venue: Olympic Park Oval Entry: Free Live stream Thanks to Zurich, the match will be streamed live across the Melbourne website and app, with pre-match coverage beginnning at 9.45am AEDT. If you can't watch live, the full match will be available via the website and app post-game. Getting to Olympic Park Oval Olympic Park Oval is located on the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Batman Avenue. Public transport Olympic Park Oval is located a short walk from Richmond train station. Jolimont station is also located a 10 minute walk away. Tram route 70 also stops near the ground at AAMI Park (stop 7D). Tram route 48 and 75 are also located in the vicinity near Jolimont Station. Bus 246 (Latrobe Uni - Elsternwick Station) travels down Punt Road, stopping at the corner of Olympic Blvd. From here patrons can walk to Olympic Park. Read more about public transport here. Parking info Non-event car parking is available opposite AAMI Park at the National Tennis Centre. See more info here. Limited parking may also be available across the river on Alexandra Avenue. Around the ground Membership and merchandise tent Melbourne will have a marquee set up for Membership queries and merchandise purchases on Olympic Boulevard. Food and beverage The Glasshouse at the Holden Centre will be open for food and drink purchases.
  8. TAKING A BATH by George on the Outer On a day to promote the cause to find a cure for MND, it wasn’t only the coaches who took a bath; the Demons took one from the Pies as well, when they went down by seven goals in front of a big crowd at the MCG. It was a big day for the Melbourne Football Club - a big occasion, big crowd, big expectations and all that happened was a big, big disappointment. The loss of the game and the loss of percentage dropped the club to fifth spot on the ladder and facing a game against Port Adelaide in 2 weeks time, who will be looking to leap ahead of them. The game started badly with Collingwood having ten scoring shots in the first quarter to a paltry two for the Demons. The forward line set-up was poor, leaving Jeremy Howe free and he repelled attack after attack. When he was properly manned up at quarter time, he didn’t get another intercept mark for the game. But it was the clearance battle that was decisive, with the Pies able to extract the ball from the middle to their outside runners with ease. Unfortunately, no change was made by the coaches to stop their players coming off the back of the square to provide those outlets. And our players simply didn’t go with their opponents. Gawn v Grundy was touted as the competition for AA ruckman, and probably was a tie, given Grundy managed 5 more hit-outs, but Gawn had 4 more possessions including 3 marks to 1. Keeping the ball in close was the Collingwood aim, and it worked all game, with 45 to 28 clearances in the Pies favour. Our much vaunted contested ball players were given a bath. The game really didn’t change much over the final three quarters as Collingwood kept on giving themselves more opportunities in front of goal. A total of 18 chances to 9 at half-time blew out to 33 v 21 at the final bell - the Demons were never going to win a game with that sort of return. In addition it was the Collingwood spread which provided those opportunities, and the lack of run in the legs of the Melbourne players was obvious. The drop off in possessions for the likes of Brayshaw (16), Petracca (15), Spargo (12), Melksham (12) and Hannan (8) showed either some very tired players, or players who need to lift their running game and effort when needed most. The addition of Cam Pedersen was a complete failure as he was to provide a replacement for Tim Smith up forward. By half-time he was relegated to the backline. The only forward to provide any real output was Tom McDonald with six goals from six contested marks. Jesse Hogan was left stranded by the lack of opportunities coming his way, and was used in the middle to try to get his hands on the ball, but that didn’t work either. With low output from the small forwards and a lack of accountability for their opponents, the ball came out of the Collingwood defence all too easily. In sharp contrast the defence without Jake Lever was poor. Jordan Lewis racked up 33 touches, but that in itself is a bad sign as it showed how often the ball was down that way. Also running him as the spare, when he is not the most athletically gifted gave no drive from the backline. It was just a stop and kick movement, which was completely inadequate against a running Collingwood. Joel Smith is a work in progress, to replace Lever for the remainder of the season but he was used badly and was forced to play on Cox initially. An older head should have been assigned the role as Joel still needs to learn how to position his body. He would have been the better option as the spare, with Lewis on Cox. He still managed 16 touches and will be better for the experience. It will take some time for him to get used to the role that he has to play. With a bye next week, the break will relieve the tired younger bodies. With eight wins to date, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure a finals appearance for the team. The Magpies cheer squad reminded us all today of what happened in Round 23 last year ... does the team want to be given a bath again in the second half of the season? Melbourne 2.0.12 7.2.44 11.5.71 14.7.91 Collingwood 5.5..38 9.9.63 15.11.101 20.13.133 Goals T McDonald 6 Hannan 2 Fritsch Gawn Harmes Neal-Bullen Oliver Viney Collingwood Cox 5 Hoskin-Elliott Stephenson 4 Thomas 3 Adams Mihocek Pendlebury Treloar Best Melbourne T McDonald Jetta Oliver Jones Collingwood De Goey Cox Adams Hoskin-Elliott Sidebottom Treloar Injuries Melbourne Jetta (shoulder) O McDonald (concussion) Collingwood Wells (foot) Reports Nil Umpires Donlon, Haussen, Findlay Official crowd 83,518 at the MCG
  9. On a day to promote the cause to find a cure for MND, it wasn’t only the coaches who took a bath; the Demons took one from the Pies as well, when they went down by seven goals in front of a big crowd at the MCG. It was a big day for the Melbourne Football Club - a big occasion, big crowd, big expectations and all that happened was a big, big disappointment. The loss of the game and the loss of percentage dropped the club to fifth spot on the ladder and facing a game against Port Adelaide in 2 weeks time, who will be looking to leap ahead of them. The game started badly with Collingwood having ten scoring shots in the first quarter to a paltry two for the Demons. The forward line set-up was poor, leaving Jeremy Howe free and he repelled attack after attack. When he was properly manned up at quarter time, he didn’t get another intercept mark for the game. But it was the clearance battle that was decisive, with the Pies able to extract the ball from the middle to their outside runners with ease. Unfortunately, no change was made by the coaches to stop their players coming off the back of the square to provide those outlets. And our players simply didn’t go with their opponents. Gawn v Grundy was touted as the competition for AA ruckman, and probably was a tie, given Grundy managed 5 more hit-outs, but Gawn had 4 more possessions including 3 marks to 1. Keeping the ball in close was the Collingwood aim, and it worked all game, with 45 to 28 clearances in the Pies favour. Our much vaunted contested ball players were given a bath. The game really didn’t change much over the final three quarters as Collingwood kept on giving themselves more opportunities in front of goal. A total of 18 chances to 9 at half-time blew out to 33 v 21 at the final bell - the Demons were never going to win a game with that sort of return. In addition it was the Collingwood spread which provided those opportunities, and the lack of run in the legs of the Melbourne players was obvious. The drop off in possessions for the likes of Brayshaw (16), Petracca (15), Spargo (12), Melksham (12) and Hannan (8) showed either some very tired players, or players who need to lift their running game and effort when needed most. The addition of Cam Pedersen was a complete failure as he was to provide a replacement for Tim Smith up forward. By half-time he was relegated to the backline. The only forward to provide any real output was Tom McDonald with six goals from six contested marks. Jesse Hogan was left stranded by the lack of opportunities coming his way, and was used in the middle to try to get his hands on the ball, but that didn’t work either. With low output from the small forwards and a lack of accountability for their opponents, the ball came out of the Collingwood defence all too easily. In sharp contrast the defence without Jake Lever was poor. Jordan Lewis racked up 33 touches, but that in itself is a bad sign as it showed how often the ball was down that way. Also running him as the spare, when he is not the most athletically gifted gave no drive from the backline. It was just a stop and kick movement, which was completely inadequate against a running Collingwood. Joel Smith is a work in progress, to replace Lever for the remainder of the season but he was used badly and was forced to play on Cox initially. An older head should have been assigned the role as Joel still needs to learn how to position his body. He would have been the better option as the spare, with Lewis on Cox. He still managed 16 touches and will be better for the experience. It will take some time for him to get used to the role that he has to play. With a bye next week, the break will relieve the tired younger bodies. With eight wins to date, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure a finals appearance for the team. The Magpies cheer squad reminded us all today of what happened in Round 23 last year ... does the team want to be given a bath again in the second half of the season? Melbourne 2.0.12 7.2.44 11.5.71 14.7.91 Collingwood 5.5..38 9.9.63 15.11.101 20.13.133 Goals T McDonald 6 Hannan 2 Fritsch Gawn Harmes Neal-Bullen Oliver Viney Collingwood Cox 5 Hoskin-Elliott Stephenson 4 Thomas 3 Adams Mihocek Pendlebury Treloar Best Melbourne T McDonald Jetta Oliver Jones Collingwood De Goey Cox Adams Hoskin-Elliott Sidebottom Treloar Injuries Melbourne Jetta (shoulder) O McDonald (concussion) Collingwood Wells (foot) Reports Nil Umpires Donlon, Haussen, Findlay Official crowd 83,518 at the MCG
  10. After the Melbourne Football Club was bundled out of last year’s finals with their Round 23 loss at the hands of Collingwood, Nathan Jones declared that the team would not forget the bitterness of that defeat. Today is the day to atone.
  11. FOCUS by The Oracle There’s been a lot of talk about noise lately. Simon Goodwin spoke about it recently when he emphasized how important it was to ensure that his players did not permit external noise to distract them from their main focus of winning games on the march to the finals and hopefully, beyond. But the noise never stops in the football industry. Collingwood President Eddie McGuire is currently making his own brand of noise by jumping in and claiming a share of the home ground advantage for the Queen’s Birthday blockbuster games which he has hitherto magnanimously granted exclusively to Melbourne (never mind that his own club has a lion's share of other fixturing advantages that other clubs don't have). This is simply another case of Eddie doing what he does best – making some noise to create a distraction in the lead up to the important game that will end the AFL's middle round of the season – Melbourne v Collingwood: two teams each staking a claim for a place among the competition’s top echelon. It wouldn't be Collingwood if there wasn't noise about how well the team has been traveling lately with wins over Brisbane (7 points), St Kilda (28), Western Bulldogs (35) and Fremantle (61) in between a 21 point loss at the hands of Geelong. The message from their fans is loud and clear - the Pies are coming. And the Magpie fans are also quick to jump in and tell us that it was their team that prevented the Demons from grasping the opportunity to join the competition's elite sides in the finals by beating them in the last round of 2017, a memory that sits heavily in the minds of many at Demonland. There has also been noise from the pundits who expect Melbourne's fortunes to slide as a result of the season-ending injury sustained by Jake Lever which is no doubt a major blow but, of itself, is a long way off being fatal to the club's aspirations for the season. Let's not forget that the Bulldogs lost Robert Murphy to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament early in 2016 which ultimately caused him to miss his club's premiership win later that year. Or that the Demons have a long list of potential replacements lining up to fill the void including a few who have been patiently knocking on the door and for who, the opportunity is about to come. There is so much noise around that it seems to be overshadowing the fact that what we are seeing an emerging Melbourne playing a brand of football that is a point of difference to every other club in the competition - a competitive beast of a group that has overcome their early season doubts with the reintroduction of Jack Viney, Tom McDonald and Angus Brayshaw who were all missing in the opening games adding to dominance of Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver and Jesse Hogan and the eclectic mix of young and old that makes up this team. The simple fact of the matter is that the Demons have been steeled by the events of the recent past and no amount of noise can cause them to lose focus on what lies in front of them. THE GAME Melbourne v Collingwood at the MCG Monday 11 June, 2018 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 83 wins, Collingwood 147 wins, 5 drawn At the MCG Melbourne 63 wins, Collingwood 80 wins, 3 drawn Last Five Meetings Melbourne 4 wins, Collingwood 1 win The Coaches Goodwin 1 win, Buckley 1 win MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Sports Footy Channel, live at 3.00pm Radio - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand LAST TIME THEY MET Collingwood 14.15.99 defeated Melbourne 12.11.83 at the MCG in Round 23, 2017 The Magpies had very little to gain while the Demons were playing for a finals berth but it looked the other way around as they dominated the opening term to skip away to a 32 point lead at the first break. Melbourne came back and, while they came close to bridging the gap, as it turned out they finished in arrears by two goals more than they would have wanted. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Christian Salem, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Angus Brayshaw, Michael Hibberd, Jordan Lewis 😄 Bernie Vince, Jack Viney, Nathan Jones HF: Bayley Fritsch, Tom McDonald, Clayton Oliver F: Charlie Spargo, Jesse Hogan, Jake Melksham Foll: Max Gawn, James Harmes, Christian Petracca I/C: Mitch Hannan, Alex Neal-Bullen, Cameron Pedersen, Joel Smith Emg: Jeff Garlett, Mitch Hannan, Jayden Hunt, Harrison Petty In: Cameron Pedersen, Joel Smith Out: Jake Lever (knee), Tim Smith (omitted) COLLINGWOOD B: Brayden Maynard, Lynden Dunn, Jack Crisp HB: Levi Greenwood, Matthew Scharenberg, Tom Langdon C : Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips HF: Jordan De Goey, Brody Mihocek, Will Hoskin-Elliott F: Josh Thomas, Mason Cox, Jaidyn Stephenson Foll: Brodie Grundy, Daniel Wells, Adam Treloar I/C (from): Taylor Adams, Josh Daicos, Jeremy Howe, Chris Mayne Emg: Flynn Appleby Ben Crocker, Sam Murray, Rupert Wills In: Jeremy Howe Out: Flynn Appleby (omitted) A funny thing happened to the Demons on their way to Etihad Stadium last Saturday. They turned up to their game against the struggling Bulldogs holding the distinction of being the competition's highest scorer and ranked number one in the competition in centre clearances for the season but at around 20 minutes into the first quarter, it was they who were under the pump. At that stage they were goalless, trailed by more than three goals and were being dominated at the stoppages, despite being a clear winner in the ruck duels thanks to the ever-reliable Max Gawn. Moreover, they had key defender Jake Lever off the field due to what turned out to be a season ending, knee injury and damaging playmaker Jake Melksham was hobbling around with a turned ankle. It wasn't exactly panic stations and in the event, Melbourne turned things around to record a handsome victory, but it was perhaps an early warning against complacency for a team that was in unfamiliar territory after five wins on the trot. The early scare could not have come at a better time for the Demons coming up against the Magpies who are themselves going through a strong patch of form and demolishing all that come before them and with a dominant ruckman of their own. Indeed, the match up between the in form Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy and their respective midfields promises to be the clash of the ages and of themselves worthy of drawing an expected crowd of 80,000 plus. Imagine the likes of Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Clayton Oliver and Angus Brayshaw pitted against Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom, Adam Treloar and Tom Phillips? No wonder that Eddie McGuire is salivating about the idea of stealing the booty from hosting such a fixture. And that my friends is one of the main points of difference between these two rival clubs and of the attitude directed from the very top of the organisation. For the Collingwood boss, this is all about business and why not because that's what the game is first and foremost to the McGuires of this world but for this Melbourne combination nowadays, it's something more that keeps them focused. This team of Demons spent months on end after their final game of 2013 - an unexpected loss at the hands of the Magpies that saw them tumbling out of the finals race at the last hurdle - brooding over what might have been. They have strengthened themselves all around the ground and have such a potent forward line that, as they proved last week at Etihad, even if they don't dominate in the engine room, they are still capable of racking up a winning score. Melbourne to expertly and without making any noise put the big freeze on Collingwood on MND Day and to win by 31 points. .
  12. There’s been a lot of talk about noise lately. Simon Goodwin spoke about it recently when he emphasized how important it was to ensure that his players did not permit external noise to distract them from their main focus of winning games on the march to the finals and hopefully, beyond. But the noise never stops in the football industry. Collingwood President Eddie McGuire is currently making his own brand of noise by jumping in and claiming a share of the home ground advantage for the Queen’s Birthday blockbuster games which he has hitherto magnanimously granted exclusively to Melbourne (never mind that his own club has a lion's share of other fixturing advantages that other clubs don't have). This is simply another case of Eddie doing what he does best – making some noise to create a distraction in the lead up to the important game that will end the AFL's middle round of the season – Melbourne v Collingwood: two teams each staking a claim for a place among the competition’s top echelon. It wouldn't be Collingwood if there wasn't noise about how well the team has been traveling lately with wins over Brisbane (7 points), St Kilda (28), Western Bulldogs (35) and Fremantle (61) in between a 21 point loss at the hands of Geelong. The message from their fans is loud and clear - the Pies are coming. And the Magpie fans are also quick to jump in and tell us that it was their team that prevented the Demons from grasping the opportunity to join the competition's elite sides in the finals by beating them in the last round of 2017, a memory that sits heavily in the minds of many at Demonland. There has also been noise from the pundits who expect Melbourne's fortunes to slide as a result of the season-ending injury sustained by Jake Lever which is no doubt a major blow but, of itself, is a long way off being fatal to the club's aspirations for the season. Let's not forget that the Bulldogs lost Robert Murphy to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament early in 2016 which ultimately caused him to miss his club's premiership win later that year. Or that the Demons have a long list of potential replacements lining up to fill the void including a few who have been patiently knocking on the door and for who, the opportunity is about to come. There is so much noise around that it seems to be overshadowing the fact that what we are seeing an emerging Melbourne playing a brand of football that is a point of difference to every other club in the competition - a competitive beast of a group that has overcome their early season doubts with the reintroduction of Jack Viney, Tom McDonald and Angus Brayshaw who were all missing in the opening games adding to dominance of Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver and Jesse Hogan and the eclectic mix of young and old that makes up this team. The simple fact of the matter is that the Demons have been steeled by the events of the recent past and no amount of noise can cause them to lose focus on what lies in front of them. THE GAME Melbourne v Collingwood at the MCG Monday 11 June, 2018 at 3.20pm HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 83 wins, Collingwood 147 wins, 5 drawn At the MCG Melbourne 63 wins, Collingwood 80 wins, 3 drawn Last Five Meetings Melbourne 4 wins, Collingwood 1 win The Coaches Goodwin 1 win, Buckley 1 win MEDIA TV - Channel 7, Fox Sports Footy Channel, live at 3.00pm Radio - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand LAST TIME THEY MET Collingwood 14.15.99 defeated Melbourne 12.11.83 at the MCG in Round 23, 2017 The Magpies had very little to gain while the Demons were playing for a finals berth but it looked the other way around as they dominated the opening term to skip away to a 32 point lead at the first break. Melbourne came back and, while they came close to bridging the gap, as it turned out they finished in arrears by two goals more than they would have wanted. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Christian Salem, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Angus Brayshaw, Michael Hibberd, Jordan Lewis 😄 Bernie Vince, Jack Viney, Nathan Jones HF: Bayley Fritsch, Tom McDonald, Clayton Oliver F: Charlie Spargo, Jesse Hogan, Jake Melksham Foll: Max Gawn, James Harmes, Christian Petracca I/C: Mitch Hannan, Alex Neal-Bullen, Cameron Pedersen, Joel Smith Emg: Jeff Garlett, Mitch Hannan, Jayden Hunt, Harrison Petty In: Cameron Pedersen, Joel Smith Out: Jake Lever (knee), Tim Smith (omitted) COLLINGWOOD B: Brayden Maynard, Lynden Dunn, Jack Crisp HB: Levi Greenwood, Matthew Scharenberg, Tom Langdon C : Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips HF: Jordan De Goey, Brody Mihocek, Will Hoskin-Elliott F: Josh Thomas, Mason Cox, Jaidyn Stephenson Foll: Brodie Grundy, Daniel Wells, Adam Treloar I/C (from): Taylor Adams, Josh Daicos, Jeremy Howe, Chris Mayne Emg: Flynn Appleby Ben Crocker, Sam Murray, Rupert Wills In: Jeremy Howe Out: Flynn Appleby (omitted) A funny thing happened to the Demons on their way to Etihad Stadium last Saturday. They turned up to their game against the struggling Bulldogs holding the distinction of being the competition's highest scorer and ranked number one in the competition in centre clearances for the season but at around 20 minutes into the first quarter, it was they who were under the pump. At that stage they were goalless, trailed by more than three goals and were being dominated at the stoppages, despite being a clear winner in the ruck duels thanks to the ever-reliable Max Gawn. Moreover, they had key defender Jake Lever off the field due to what turned out to be a season ending, knee injury and damaging playmaker Jake Melksham was hobbling around with a turned ankle. It wasn't exactly panic stations and in the event, Melbourne turned things around to record a handsome victory, but it was perhaps an early warning against complacency for a team that was in unfamiliar territory after five wins on the trot. The early scare could not have come at a better time for the Demons coming up against the Magpies who are themselves going through a strong patch of form and demolishing all that come before them and with a dominant ruckman of their own. Indeed, the match up between the in form Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy and their respective midfields promises to be the clash of the ages and of themselves worthy of drawing an expected crowd of 80,000 plus. Imagine the likes of Nathan Jones, Jack Viney, Clayton Oliver and Angus Brayshaw pitted against Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom, Adam Treloar and Tom Phillips? No wonder that Eddie McGuire is salivating about the idea of stealing the booty from hosting such a fixture. And that my friends is one of the main points of difference between these two rival clubs and of the attitude directed from the very top of the organisation. For the Collingwood boss, this is all about business and why not because that's what the game is first and foremost to the McGuires of this world but for this Melbourne combination nowadays, it's something more that keeps them focused. This team of Demons spent months on end after their final game of 2013 - an unexpected loss at the hands of the Magpies that saw them tumbling out of the finals race at the last hurdle - brooding over what might have been. They have strengthened themselves all around the ground and have such a potent forward line that, as they proved last week at Etihad, even if they don't dominate in the engine room, they are still capable of racking up a winning score. Melbourne to expertly and without making any noise put the big freeze on Collingwood on MND Day and to win by 31 points.
  13. I have a headache:- THE TEAMS COLLINGWOOD B: Brayden Maynard, Lynden Dunn, Tyson Goldsack HB: Jeremy Howe, Tom Langdon, Jack Crisp 😄 Steele Sidebottom, Taylor Adams, Tom Phillips HF: Josh Daicos, Darcy Moore, Callum Brown F: Jamie Elliott, Mason Cox, Will Hoskin-Elliott FOLL: Brodie Grundy, Josh Thomas, Adam Treloar I/C: James Aish, Tim Broomhead, Kayle Kirby, Matthew Scharenberg EMG: Jarryd Blair, Jackson Ramsay, Josh Smith IN: Tyson Goldsack, Brodie Grundy, Kayle Kirby OUT: Jarryd Blair, Josh Smith (omitted), Ben Reid (soreness) MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Nathan Jones, Tom McDonald, Jayden Hunt 😄 Jordan Lewis, Christian Petracca, Christian Salem HF: Clayton Oliver, Jesse Hogan Jake Melksham F: Jeff Garlett, Cameron Pedersen, James Harmes FOLL: Max Gawn, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Mitch Hannan, Alex Neal-Bullen, Jack Watts EMG: Declan Keilty, Corey Maynard, Josh Wagner IN: Christian Salem, Jack Watts OUT: Billy Stretch (omitted), Josh Wagner (omitted)
  14. Melbourne’s hopes of winning AFLW silverware in 2018 melted away dramatically in the 37 degree hear at TIO Traeger Park when it wilted after holding its opponents scoreless then losing its grip on a game for the second time in the space of less than a week. This time the Demons suffered a complete mauling at the hands of previously winless Collingwood who applied power and pressure against a team that was a premiership fancy just seven days ago. After the first break, the Magpies embarrassed and outscored them by eight goals to winning 9.4.58 to 3.6.24. The fact that the team was on a six day break on the road and in the heat was no excuse for the sloppy play and capitulation to a team that was sitting on the bottom of the ladder. The Demons’ playmaker Daisy Pearce was well held, leaving much of the hard work to far to few. The best of the bunch were Karen Paxman and Elise O'Dea but it was disappointing that so few stood up against a tough Magpie outfit that had all of the answers. The Dees were somehow still in the game early in the last quarter when down by 17 points but in the end they were far too easily brushed aside. In particular, the defence was easily ruffled and gave away too many easy goals. The team returns home this week to regroup for a must win game after another six day break against Brisbane at Casey Fields on Friday night. Melbourne 2.2.14 2.2.14 3.4.22 3.6.24 Collingwood 0.0.0 3.2.20 6.4.40 9.4.58 Goals Melbourne Hore Mifsud O'Dea Collingwood Hope Edwards 2 Barden Bernardi Chiocci Hutchins Kuys Best Melbourne Paxman, Downie O'Dea Cunningham Jakobsson Collingwood Bernardi Lambert Chiocci Bonnici, Hope King Injuries Melbourne Cranston (hand) Smith (concussion) Collingwood Nil Reports Nil Umpires Galbraith, Crosby, Broadbent Estimated crowd 2,000 at TIO Traeger Park
  15. On the Queen's Birthday (or rather, King George V’s) it is customary to hand out the honours to those most deserving members of the community for their achievements in life. Since Melbourne was playing Collingwood on the day that commemorates the royal birthday, there could not be a more deserving recipient of the honours than Melbourne. Collingwood deserve and get nothing. With the season at the half-way mark and the Demons on 5 wins and 5 losses, the second half of the year really depended on a successful outcome of this game - a win would move them into sixth place but a loss would be a disaster for it meant dropping to 11th position on the ladder and more importantly, a game outside the top eight. And therefore, when called upon to perform, the Demons delivered. In doing so they have now put themselves into a realistic position to play finals. With the 9th, 10th and 11th teams all facing difficult opposition in their next-up games Melbourne has the opportunity to go eight points clear IF they can beat the Western Bulldogs in six day's time. Now to the match at hand. The Demons finished the first quarter slightly ahead after a pretty even thirty minutes which was encouraging because, for the first time in ages, they actually turned up to play and weren’t four goals down at the break ... of course, they saved that for the second quarter! Collingwood kicked six unanswered goals in that second term which saw the Demons playing some abysmal football. All of their worst was on display, yet again, with dinky too smart kicks, stupid handball overuse, and players simply not putting in; the game looked as good as over at half-time. Fortunately, Simon Goodwin was there to right the ship and he once again instituted some critical changes. Tom McDonald into ruck (he simply cannot play forward which he did in the first half). Jake Melksham out of the middle where he had been tagging Pendelbury - the coaches realised Pendelbury was doing little, and so by keeping Melksham in the middle it was like virtually playing with a man down. A move for him to the forward line yielded a goal, but little else and he will surely be left out for next week in favour of Josh Wagner. Oscar McDonald put in a shocker in the first half, and then played a blinder in the second …go figure! Completely all at sea he was going at half pace and turning the ball over with monotonous regularity. Then he came out and spoilt everything in the air and took a truly telling mark in the third which would otherwise have resulted in a certain opposition goal. With Pedersen and Tom McDonald holding Grundy to the status of hitout king but to little or no advantage to their mids and the stronger Melbourne mids slowly took over. Clayton Oliver, Nathan Jones and Jack Viney began to get their hands on the ball and for the first time in the game started kicking it forward. This exposed the Collingwood backline, and Melbourne piled on six goals to two in the third to once again lead by the narrowest of margin at the final break. It then came down to an arm wrestle with both sides within a couple of points of each other, until the Demons managed to find Jack Watts on his own 50 meter line out on the flank. He then slowly and deliberately moved toward goal and split the majors sending the final dagger into the heart of Collingwood's hopes. While they dragged one back in the dying seconds, it was the Demons in the end by four points. The injury room at the end wouldn’t fill us with confidence as Jayden Hunt had extended treatment for an ankle, Watts for his back in addition to a previous ankle injury, and Sam Frost spent and inordinate time off the field in the third. We won’t see Jesse Hogan for another two weeks at least and Max Gawn is positively not ready yet. However, the Demons have now shown they can match it with anyone, that it can win close games and are becoming the comeback kings. The club must stop these quarters of football where the team seems to go to sleep and lapse into appalling habits. Against the Bulldogs with their ferocious attack style of play that would be a recipe for disaster. Melbourne took the honours today by a bare margin. It now must learn to take the honours emphatically and without assuming that they will be handed out without the difficult inputs that hallmark successful sides. Melbourne 4.3.27 6.6.42 12.9.81 15.14.104 Collingwood 3.2.20 10.5.65 12.8.80 15.10.100 Goals Melbourne Petracca Watts 3 Bugg Garlett 2 Hannan Harmes T McDonald Melksham Pedersen Collingwood De Goey Fasolo Greenwood Moore Phillips Sidebottom 2 Aish Crocker Treloar Best Melbourne Petracca Jones Viney Hibberd Watts Hunt Garlett Collingwood Sidebottom Grundy Treloar Howe Maynard Broomhead Changes Melbourne Nil Collingwood Nil Injuries Melbourne Jack Watts (back) Collingwood Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Collingwood Nil Umpires Rosebury, Stephens, Ryan, Mollison Official Crowd 70,926 at the MCG
  16. Some weeks ago, I wrote something on one of these Gameday threads to the effect that I would really like to see Melbourne get off to a big start and then maintain that momentum for a full four quarters. It hasn't happened all year. I thought about that post on Saturday night when I was out at dinner with friends and I caught my first sight of the score in the game between Essendon and Port Adelaide. It was during the first quarter and the scoreline read: "Essendon 40 Port Adelaide 1" My first thought was - UNREAL - that never happens with us (at least not with us being in front). Perhaps, it might happen on the day we celebrate Her Majesty's birthday because, like everything else that's happening in this round of football, it seems the prospect is so unreal (after all, her real birthday is 21 April). Let's do something unreal today.
  17. UNDER THE BRIDGE by Whispering Jack A lot of water has flowed under the proverbial bridge since a game between Melbourne and Collingwood has carried with it as much significance as the forthcoming Queens Birthday contest between these traditional rivals. They were at once the yin and yang or 陰陽 of our great Australian sport; one standing for the well to do at the top of the town, the other representing the downtrodden masses from a nearby industrialised inner city suburb. They were seemingly opposite or contrary forces but like light and darkness, black and white, fire and water, red and blue; they were complementary, interconnected, and interdependent. All that ended half a century ago when Melbourne fell into the abyss and while Collingwood remained mainly in the upper reaches of the competition, it more often than not floundered when put to the sword. Other rivalries flourished and the world changed. The interrelationship ended and though from time to time their paths crossed in big games, it was rare that both were on the same plane at the same time. This week however, we see them locked together in a real battle for ascendency. If Collingwood wins, the teams will change places - if Melbourne wins, it moves into the top eight and has its first real opportunity in over a decade to make a full-fisted challenge for a place in the AFL finals. The game is that important. With thanks to the bye, the Magpies have made all the running while the Demons have remained inconspicuously out of sight. The Pies won their third game in a row last Sunday in the West against a faltering Fremantle and suddenly, the media was full on Collingwood. They were everywhere and in the eyes of their fans, a trip to the finals (if not the premiership itself) suddenly became a cakewalk, notwithstanding the inconvenience of a few injuries here or there. These things mean nothing as long as the team has a midfield ranked at the top of the tree by Champion Data at the start of the season and due to lock horns with the bottom of the barrel Demon equivalent sitting at #18. What's more, Eddie McGuire continues to assure us that his club owns the MCG, a ground where Melbourne has only won once this year from five attempts. And he has a wealth of top secret information about the opposition at his fingertips courtesy of former Demons Jeremy Howe and Lynden Dunn. The latter happens to also be thriving now that he's part of a "real successful club", according to the Pies' resident genius Taylor Adams. Hell, after that I'm scratching my head trying to uncover some way in which the Demons can turn back time by half a century and win a really important game against the Magpies. I know there has to be a way - perhaps I can figure it out by the time a little more water flows under that bridge when team selection is announced. THE GAME Melbourne v Collingwood at MCG Monday 12 June 2017 at 3.20pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 82 wins Collingwood 146 wins 5 drawn At the MCG Melbourne 62 wins Collingwood 79 wins 3 drawn Last Five Meetings Melbourne 3 wins Collingwood 2 wins The Coaches: Goodwin 0 wins Buckley 0 wins MEDIA TV Channel 7 Fox Footy Channel (Live at 3.00pm) Radio Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne $1.55 to win Collingwood $2.45 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 16.8.104 defeated Collingwood 8.10.58 at MCG in Round 12, 2016 Bernie Vince was unstoppable with more than 40 touches and Nathan Jones was not that far behind. Both were given an armchair ride by Max Gawn who not only amassed plenty of hit outs to advantage but picked up 27 possessions which is massive for a big man in our modern game. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Jayden Hunt, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Michael Hibberd, Sam Frost, Jordan Lewis C: Christian Salem, Clayton Oliver, Nathan Jones HF: Dom Tyson, Jack Watts, Mitch Hannan F: Alex Neal-Bullen, Christian Petracca, Jeff Garlett FOLL: Cam Pedersen, Bernie Vince, Jack Viney I/C: Tomas Bugg, James Harmes, Oscar McDonald, Jake Melksham EMG: Jay Kennedy-Harris, Jake Spencer, Josh Wagner IN: Christian Salem OUT: Josh Wagner COLLINGWOOD B: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Brayden Maynard HB: Josh Smith, Tom Langdon, Matthew Scharenberg C: Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips HF: Jordan De Goey, Alex Fasolo, Will Hoskin-Elliott F: Callum Brown, Darcy Moore, Tim Broomhead FOLL: Brodie Grundy, Taylor Adams, Adam Treloar I/C: James Aish, Jack Crisp, Ben Crocker, Levi Greenwood EMG: Mason Cox, Chris Mayne, Jackson Ramsay IN: James Aish, Callum Brown, Alex Fasolo, Tom Langdon OUT: Jamie Elliott (ankle), Tyson Goldsack (shoulder), Jackson Ramsay (omitted), Daniel Wells (calf) NEW: Callum Brown We are at the half way mark of the season and, despite some of the disappointing setbacks incurred by the team to date, I think it can be truthfully said for the Melbourne Football Club that the sky is the limit. There is one thing that currently stands between it and a place within the top eight and that is its inability to put together a full on consistent four quarter performance in any given match of football. The problem has been its inability to make a good start to a game, even when up against what is perceived to be weaker opposition. The past four games are all cases in point. The team trailed by 27 points against the Hawks at quarter time and failed to make any inroads into that deficit by half time. Two weeks later, they were 26 points behind the Kangaroos at the first break and in their game against the Suns in Alice Springs they were down until late in the third quarter, at one stage by as much as five goals. In between that, Melbourne headed Adelaide at quarter time but midway through the second term it was 28 points in arrears before a 69 point turnaround. The pattern has been evident throughout the season starting in Round 1 against the Saints. In two games - against Geelong and Richmond - the normally faster finishing Demons were crippled by injuries and understandably faded at the end. One is left to wonder about the consequences of conceding leads of up to five goals early in games and then putting in a massive effort to get back to even terms. Does the effort required to play catch up football week in, week out have an effect on the way a team approaches the start of its next games? How is that a team that crushes the top-of-the ladder Crows on their home turf can turn up a week later and make such an insipid start to a game against the Kangaroos? This week the club is pitted against a Collingwood that should have beaten the Giants a month ago and then followed that performance up with three wins on the trot. Admittedly those victories have been against Hawthorn, Brisbane and Fremantle (two teams that Melbourne failed to win against) but at least they've been a model of consistency. They have lost big time at selection with injuries to Jamie Elliot, Daniel Wells and Tyson Goldsack but that simply makes them look vulnerable and we know Melbourne's record against teams that have looked vulnerable this year. The game itself looks like being won in the middle where both sides are ranked in the top five this season for clearances. Melbourne is second in winning the contested ball, behind only Adelaide. The Pies will have the obvious advantage in the ruck but I expect Melbourne to have them covered in both defence and attack and if somehow, they can come out firing and make a good start to the game, they should win comfortably. Melbourne by 20 points
  18. A lot of water has flowed under the proverbial bridge since a game between Melbourne and Collingwood has carried with it as much significance as the forthcoming Queens Birthday contest between these traditional rivals. They were at once the yin and yang or 陰陽 of our great Australian sport; one standing for the well to do at the top of the town, the other representing the downtrodden masses from a nearby industrialised inner city suburb. They were seemingly opposite or contrary forces but like light and darkness, black and white, fire and water, red and blue; they were complementary, interconnected, and interdependent. All that ended half a century ago when Melbourne fell into the abyss and while Collingwood remained mainly in the upper reaches of the competition, it more often than not floundered when put to the sword. Other rivalries flourished and the world changed. The interrelationship ended and though from time to time their paths crossed in big games, it was rare that both were on the same plane at the same time. This week however, we see them locked together in a real battle for ascendency. If Collingwood wins, the teams will change places - if Melbourne wins, it moves into the top eight and has its first real opportunity in over a decade to make a full-fisted challenge for a place in the AFL finals. The game is that important. With thanks to the bye, the Magpies have made all the running while the Demons have remained inconspicuously out of sight. The Pies won their third game in a row last Sunday in the West against a faltering Fremantle and suddenly, the media was full on Collingwood. They were everywhere and in the eyes of their fans, a trip to the finals (if not the premiership itself) suddenly became a cakewalk, notwithstanding the inconvenience of a few injuries here or there. These things mean nothing as long as the team has a midfield ranked at the top of the tree by Champion Data at the start of the season and due to lock horns with the bottom of the barrel Demon equivalent sitting at #18. What's more, Eddie McGuire continues to assure us that his club owns the MCG, a ground where Melbourne has only won once this year from five attempts. And he has a wealth of top secret information about the opposition at his fingertips courtesy of former Demons Jeremy Howe and Lynden Dunn. The latter happens to also be thriving now that he's part of a "real successful club", according to the Pies' resident genius Taylor Adams. Hell, after that I'm scratching my head trying to uncover some way in which the Demons can turn back time by half a century and win a really important game against the Magpies. I know there has to be a way - perhaps I can figure it out by the time a little more water flows under that bridge when team selection is announced. THE GAME Melbourne v Collingwood at MCG Monday 12 June 2017 at 3.20pm (AEST) HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 82 wins Collingwood 146 wins 5 drawn At the MCG Melbourne 62 wins Collingwood 79 wins 3 drawn Last Five Meetings Melbourne 3 wins Collingwood 2 wins The Coaches: Goodwin 0 wins Buckley 0 wins MEDIA TV Channel 7 Fox Footy Channel (Live at 3.00pm) Radio Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Melbourne $1.55 to win Collingwood $2.45 to win LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 16.8.104 defeated Collingwood 8.10.58 at MCG in Round 12, 2016 Bernie Vince was unstoppable with more than 40 touches and Nathan Jones was not that far behind. Both were given an armchair ride by Max Gawn who not only amassed plenty of hit outs to advantage but picked up 27 possessions which is massive for a big man in our modern game. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Jayden Hunt, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Michael Hibberd, Sam Frost, Jordan Lewis C: Christian Salem, Clayton Oliver, Nathan Jones HF: Dom Tyson, Jack Watts, Mitch Hannan F: Alex Neal-Bullen, Christian Petracca, Jeff Garlett FOLL: Cam Pedersen, Bernie Vince, Jack Viney I/C: Tomas Bugg, James Harmes, Oscar McDonald, Jake Melksham EMG: Jay Kennedy-Harris, Jake Spencer, Josh Wagner IN: Christian Salem OUT: Josh Wagner COLLINGWOOD B: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Brayden Maynard HB: Josh Smith, Tom Langdon, Matthew Scharenberg C: Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips HF: Jordan De Goey, Alex Fasolo, Will Hoskin-Elliott F: Callum Brown, Darcy Moore, Tim Broomhead FOLL: Brodie Grundy, Taylor Adams, Adam Treloar I/C: James Aish, Jack Crisp, Ben Crocker, Levi Greenwood EMG: Mason Cox, Chris Mayne, Jackson Ramsay IN: James Aish, Callum Brown, Alex Fasolo, Tom Langdon OUT: Jamie Elliott (ankle), Tyson Goldsack (shoulder), Jackson Ramsay (omitted), Daniel Wells (calf) NEW: Callum Brown We are at the half way mark of the season and, despite some of the disappointing setbacks incurred by the team to date, I think it can be truthfully said for the Melbourne Football Club that the sky is the limit. There is one thing that currently stands between it and a place within the top eight and that is its inability to put together a full on consistent four quarter performance in any given match of football. The problem has been its inability to make a good start to a game, even when up against what is perceived to be weaker opposition. The past four games are all cases in point. The team trailed by 27 points against the Hawks at quarter time and failed to make any inroads into that deficit by half time. Two weeks later, they were 26 points behind the Kangaroos at the first break and in their game against the Suns in Alice Springs they were down until late in the third quarter, at one stage by as much as five goals. In between that, Melbourne headed Adelaide at quarter time but midway through the second term it was 28 points in arrears before a 69 point turnaround. The pattern has been evident throughout the season starting in Round 1 against the Saints. In two games - against Geelong and Richmond - the normally faster finishing Demons were crippled by injuries and understandably faded at the end. One is left to wonder about the consequences of conceding leads of up to five goals early in games and then putting in a massive effort to get back to even terms. Does the effort required to play catch up football week in, week out have an effect on the way a team approaches the start of its next games? How is that a team that crushes the top-of-the ladder Crows on their home turf can turn up a week later and make such an insipid start to a game against the Kangaroos? This week the club is pitted against a Collingwood that should have beaten the Giants a month ago and then followed that performance up with three wins on the trot. Admittedly those victories have been against Hawthorn, Brisbane and Fremantle (two teams that Melbourne failed to win against) but at least they've been a model of consistency. They have lost big time at selection with injuries to Jamie Elliot, Daniel Wells and Tyson Goldsack but that simply makes them look vulnerable and we know Melbourne's record against teams that have looked vulnerable this year. The game itself looks like being won in the middle where both sides are ranked in the top five this season for clearances. Melbourne is second in winning the contested ball, behind only Adelaide. The Pies will have the obvious advantage in the ruck but I expect Melbourne to have them covered in both defence and attack and if somehow, they can come out firing and make a good start to the game, they should win comfortably. Melbourne by 20 points
  19. Happy Birthday Your Majesty - Let's have a three-peat. MELBOURNE B: Jayden Hunt, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Billy Stretch, Oscar McDonald, Josh Wagner C: Tomas Bugg, Christian Petracca, Bernie Vince HF: Jack Trengove, Jack Watts, Aaron vandenBerg F: Sam Frost, Jesse Hogan, Chris Dawes FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Ben Kennedy, Dean Kent, Clayton Oliver Jack Viney EMG: Jack Grimes, James Harmes, Viv Michie IN: Ben Kennedy, Jack Viney OUT: Jeff Garlett (omitted), James Harmes (omitted) COLLINGWOOD B: Brayden Maynard, Ben Reid, Jeremy Howe HB: Marley Williams, Jack Frost, Josh Smith C: Tom Phillips, Adam Treloar, Steele Sidebottom HF: Jordan deGoey, Jesse White, Travis Varcoe F: Ben Crocker, Mason Cox, Jarryd Blair FOLL: Brodie Grundy, Scott Pendlebury, Jack Crisp I/C: Levi Greenwood, Jonathon Marsh, Ben Sinclair, Jarrod Witts EMG: Nathan Brown, Matt Goodyear, Alan Toovey IN: Jonathon Marsh, Tom Phillips, Marley Williams, Jarrod Witts OUT: Nathan Brown (omitted), Travis Cloke (omitted), Matt Goodyear (omitted), Adam Oxley (omitted)
  20. Well, well ... we have beaten Collingwood three times in less than 12 months. Twice this year!
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